CURRENT AS AT 23 December 2020
Due to our natural resources, weather, history and prosperity, we like to refer to our country as “the lucky country”. While the current pandemic has brought its share of tragedies and certainly made it a very difficult year, compared to much of the world our luck has continued to be better than most.
As at 22 December 2020, Australia has had a total of 28,198 cases, which ranks us at 99th in the world. Sadly there have been 908 deaths so far. We currently have an outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches with 15 new cases on the 21st and 8 new cases on the 22nd, which has the city on edge and is threatening some of our Christmas plans. We also had an 2nd wave outbreak in Melbourne earlier in the year which originated from the virus escaping from the quarantined traveller system and this required a lengthy lockdown period in that city, which caused a lot of deaths as well as pain to the local economy.
Our team, like most other white collar businesses, have spent much of the year working remotely to do our bit to prevent the spread of the disease. In recent months, we have gradually been returning to the office. We are hopeful that by February 2021, our team will be back to a new normal, with all staff back in the office at least half the time. In the meantime, we’ve been able to use technology to maintain our service standards.
Government support like the JobKeeper subsidy, which continues until 31 March 2021 and helps businesses continue to employ their staff even when revenue has dropped significantly, has helped to keep local businesses operating and the economy turning over despite the lack of foreign visitors to our country. We are cautiously optimistic that the economic outlook for 2021 will be positive, but there is a critical period over the next few months as government support programs start to wind down.
We have watched with sadness news of the spread of the illness in other parts of the world, and hope that the rollout of the vaccines over the coming months brings some normality back.
With this in mind we wish all our colleagues overseas the best of luck in combatting the virus and hope you are all back to normal very soon.
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